El Meeting design by Bo Krüger

Event designer and co-creator of the Meetovation concept, Bo Krüger has become one of the biggest meeting designer references in Europe, revolutionizing the design of meetings.

We have abused our friendship and asked him a few questions to find out how one of the most international prestige Meeting designs thinks and designs.

We share next this interesting interview with Bo Krüger.

About Meeting Design:

1. What is meeting design?
Most meeting planners mainly focus on the logistics of the meeting, like transport, food and beverage, technical solutions etc. But in order to create an outstanding meeting, you also have to focus on the content and format of the meeting. Who cares if the food is great and the venue is beautiful if the way we meet is boring and never meets the objectives of the meeting? In most meetings, the real objective is not great food but things like networking, learning and motivation. Meeting Design means that you take care of the whole package and makes sure that both the logistics; the content and the format fulfill the objectives of the meeting.

2. Why does “Meeting Design” tend to be related only to concepts as furniture, “Brainfood”, open space…?
Because food and furniture are the easy areas to impact for most meeting planners. It’s much more difficult to influence and design the content and the format of the meeting. In order to do that in a successful way, you need to have insight in topics like learning, psychology and motivation, areas where many meeting planners have limited education. You also need to accept from the meeting owner to influence the format and content of the meeting, which sometimes can be really difficult.

3. Why is meeting design important nowadays?
The main reason is, that we live in a hyper-complex world, where change is accelerating all the time. To cope with a world like that, we need to learn and find creative solutions to our challenges faster than ever before. For that end different engaging meeting formats, that invites to co-creation and active learning is much more effective than one-way communication and thousands of power points.

4. “Your event has to be a game, a conversation, an engaging experience” but why? Why is this related to Meeting Design?
It does not have to be like that, but often engaging the participants in different ways, is the easiest and cheapest way to increase learning, networking, motivation and co-creation. All the great things, we want from most meetings.

5. “To my internal meetings, people must attend so I am not sure if it really matters how we do the meeting”. In your opinion, how could Meeting Design make a difference in these cases?
I look at meetings like the operating system in a computer. You need an updated system to have a fast and efficient computer. Meetings, both internal and external, are the operating system of our society and organizations. Meetings help us communicate, share knowledge, find solutions to our challenges and stay motivated. The problem with most meetings is, that they are not updated so that they fit the challenges in a hypercomplex knowledge society; they still operate like they did in the industrial society. Modern meetings should be much more engaging, creative and varied, that’s why we need meeting design for all kinds of meetings.

6. Eric the Groot and Mike Van der Vijver on their book Into the heart of meetings, compare meeting industry with a hypothetical car industry in which they didn’t know what people do when they actually sit inside the car. (p.11) Do you agree with this approach?
Yes. Someone said that meeting planning is like building a house, and meeting design is making the house a home.

7. Is there any difference between a meeting planner and a meeting designer?
As already mentioned, a meeting planner mainly focuses on the logistics of the meeting, we could call it the hardware of the meeting, and tend to ignore the content and format of the meeting, the software of the meeting. The meeting designer works with both the hardware and the software of the meeting.

This has only been the first part of the interview. Leave us your mail and we will notify you when we publish the second delivery.